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The Last Testament
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Bestseller Bourne (the pseudonym of British journalist Jonathan Freedland) follows his 2006 debut, The Righteous Men, with another Jewish-themed thriller, a cliche-ridden hodgepodge. Weeks before a closely fought U.S. presidential election, disgraced diplomat Maggie Costello comes out of self-imposed exile to mediate a final Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement. When a prominent right-wing academic, Shimon Guttman, tries to reach the Israeli prime minister with an urgent message during a peace rally, security guards gun him down because they fear he was trying to assassinate the prime minister. Costello joins with Guttman's son to track down the secret his father uncovered that could radically affect the negotiations. Bourne does nothing to endear Costello to readers by revealing the reason for her earlier diplomatic disgrace. The ludicrous denouement involves a high-ranking official confessing to all his misdeeds while unknowingly being filmed on a Web cam. (May) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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